Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Brief History

OTREG (Organization Theory Research Group) was founded in 2006 by Kamal Munir (Cambridge University) and Nelson Phillips (Imperial College). The unique format emerged out of discussions with several friends, including Marc Ventresca (Oxford), Raghu Garud (Penn State), Hugh Willmott (Cardiff) and Anand Narasimhan (IMD).

OTREG is a group of thirty or so organization theorists from various UK and European universities that meet every six weeks. Prior to the meeting, three manuscripts from members (under revision for journals) are distributed. The group dissects the papers, considers the reviews and give in-depth comments on how to improve the paper.

Before OTREG, there was no regular forum to discuss organization theory in Europe (they had to wait a year for EGOS). Most OT departments in UK and European schools are quite small, and young researchers found themselves isolated and unable to discuss their work with colleagues. Moreover, there has traditionally been little or no interaction across these departments.

With OTREG they are able to connect with each other, benefit from collective experience (and those of senior colleagues), and feel inspired by each others' work. Moreover, the group provides a bridge with an increasing number of North American researchers. Most recently, Prof. Dick Scott participated in an OTREG meeting. Previously, scholars such as Royston Greenwood, Wanda Orlikowski, Raghu Garud, Michael Lounsbury, David Courpassson, and others have participated in meetings.

Thanks to OTREG, researchers from schools like London Business School, Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, Warwick, IMD (Lausanne), HEC (Paris), Max Planck Institute (Germany), Bocconi U (Milan), Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus), Helsinki, Vienna among several others now meet regularly to advance research in organization theory.

While OTREG generally meets at Imperial College in London, at least twice a year, we convene in other European cities. Most recently, these included Rotterdam and Paris.

Holding a meeting at a particular school not only contributes to the worldwide visibility of the school, enhance its reputation for promoting research, but also fosters links between this highly productive group of organizational researchers and the school's other faculty.

If you wish to become part of OTREG, you may request Kamal or Nelson to be part of its mailing list. You must attend 2-3 meetings before you are allowed to present your own work.

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